Atlas is a humanoid robot created by Google’s Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics. The robot debuted back in 2013 in a competition conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The updated Atlas is the result of seven globally contracted research teams who developed the software that has given Atlas a better but more complex brain.
Atlas was first created as a means of disaster recovery for places that were too unsafe for humans to intervene such as nuclear plants and unstable buildings. Standing at 5 ft. 9 in tall and weighing in at about 180 pounds, the new Atlas is more nimble and smaller than its previous version. It is fully mobile in comparison to the previous model which had to be hooked to a computer. Atlas can walk through snow without losing its balance, open doors, stand up after falling down and place things on a shelf.
Using sensors which are embedded throughout its legs and body and legs to help it balance, lasers for sensing objects, navigating and avoiding obstacles, Atlas is a one of a kind brainchild. Atlas can also maneuver through different types of environments by walking, climbing stairs and dodging debris using its hydraulic joints.
The new trend for digital screens is for them to be able to bend and roll into a tube. Apparently, Google wants them to be tearable too now. In a recently published patent filing, the inventors had detailed a very original device that users can rip, and then reattach together. Whenever the screen is physically modified, the contents it shows are modified too. To illustrate the effect, Google used a notice for a lost dog. When the screen is intact, the flier displays a dog but when it is torn, the smaller piece shows the dog’s picture along with a contact number.
Google’s patent filing was first found by the founder of a legal software firm ClientSide, Mikhail Avady. Avady states that the patent is the turning point for next generation screens because it shows two long-promised concepts of sci-fi – disposable and modular displays.
During CES earlier this year one of the world’s biggest makers of cutting edge digital screens, Samsung, showed off ways that modular displays could soon become a reality. Using a number of smaller screens pushed together, Samsung create a huge multi-screen complex. While disposable displays remain a pipe dream for now and won’t emerge in the main stream market as viable, cost-effective technology, engineers have been figuring out ways to transfer pixels onto paper. When asked for a comment on the patent, Google coyly admitted that while it may hold the patent, it may remain an idea and never be implemented or it can mature into a full-blown product in the future.